France best selling albums ever: Au Ras Des Pâquerettes by Alain Souchon (1999)
After eight up and down studio albums from 1974 to 1988 with mostly average sellers, Alain Souchon finally made it big at almost 50 in 1993 thanks to C’Est Déjà Ca album. Such unusual career path generated a lot of curiosity when follow up Au Ras Des Pâquerettes was released in November 1999.
There have been no disappointment as the album entered at #1 and remained Top 3 all over the heavy Christmas period. During 2000, although not occupying the very top spots, the album never left the Top 50 a single week.
By April 2000, the album was on 600,000 copies already, a total which climbed to 900,000 by mid 2001 and 1 million late in that year, repeating the feat of previous Souchon album. Out of charts at that time, Au Ras Des Pâquerettes had a last surge in early 2002 when it ranked six weeks inside the Top 30.
The strong selling best of Collection – 1984-2001 released in 2001 fall reduced severely catalog sales of the 1999 studio album. However, a music club large operation in 2004 gave it 100,000 additional sales within’ a month. All in all, it added 230,000 copies since its Diamond award.
Net shipment as of the end of 2015 is estimated at 1,230,000 copies.
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Sources: SNEP, IFOP, Le Parisien.